Internet users could do with going back to ‘tech 101’ – survey

26 Nov 2014

A survey conducted among 1,000 US internet users has shown that across the board, many are far less familiar with how the internet works but have a firm grasp on the current trends online.

Pew Research conducted the survey as part of the US’ own 25th anniversary of the introduction of the internet. Some 1,066 citizens answered 17 questions ranging from ‘Hashtags are widely used in which place?’, to ‘what was the first popular graphic browser?’

And from the survey results, many of those citizens know little about the established history of the internet or its many fundamental built-in components.

For example, only 34pc of those asked knew what Moore’s Law is and for those unaware, it is the proposed theory that the number of transistors that can be fitted onto a microchip doubles approximately every two years.


The least-known element of internet history was the first popular browser. Only 9pc were able to identify Mosaic, considered the father of internet browsers when it was launched back in 1993.

Only 42pc knew Harvard was the first university in the US to host Facebook, despite the release of the popular film The Social Network in 2010.

Knowledge of microblogging site Twitter was high across the board, though, with 82pc of those surveyed knowing what and where a hashtag is used.

This is despite the fact Pew’s own research into social media use in 2013 showed only 18pc of adults used Twitter, which would indicate how engrained it is in the modern zeitgeist.

Historic internet image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic